Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Captive Daughter of Zion

I discovered something cool!
Shake thyself from the dust…
Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck,
O captive daughter of Zion
(Isaiah 52:2)
I realized that “shake thyself from the dust” is another way of telling us to separate ourselves from everything unclean and filthy, just as the dust is filthy. It means to repent and be different from the world.

As for “loose thyself from the bands of thy neck”, I wondered why Isaiah used that particular expression. My usual way of reading it was to imagine a woman with an iron manacle around her neck. But I started rethinking it. I wondered why Isaiah used that particular expression “bands of thy neck”. I wondered what was so important about the neck.

The neck holds up the head. It also holds our vocal cords. It suddenly hit me in a flash that “cords” and “bands” were about the same thing—something to bind with. It seemed to me that Isaiah was saying that we must loose our vocal cords and not be afraid to tell people what we believe.

I know this can be difficult. There are many times when I want to share an insight with people but I don’t feel very comfortable bringing it up, and then I feel like I am strangled silent. However, Isaiah teaches us here that the only thing keeping us captive is ourselves. If there isn’t a gag in our mouth, we are free to talk all we want about religion with people.

Both sin and hesitancy to share the gospel keep us captive and Isaiah tells us that Heavenly Father wants us to be free!